Fitness Running

What is the difference between running shoes and brooks cross training shoes?

training shoes be used for running

Discover the difference between the running shoes and the brooks cross training shoes, and determine how and when to use them.

You will be faced with a vast selection of shoes in any sports store or on the internet. It can be unclear, and you need to know the differences between athletic shoe types to choose the right pair.

Looking at the dizzying array of shoes to choose from, you’ll quickly see that many are designed for a specific sport, like tennis or trail running. However, the difference is only sometimes so clear-cut with other athletic shoes, such as running shoes and gym training shoes. So what’s the difference between running shoes and gym workout shoes, and how can you choose the perfect shoes for you?

The difference between running and brooks cross training shoes

running and brooks cross

Running and gym training shoes are often similar in shape and may use some of the same materials in their designs, such as mesh uppers and lightweight foam soles. Even more disconcerting, running and training shoes can be mixed in many sports stores.

The running shoes are manufactured using the latest systems and technologies, providing all the necessary support to customers in their running activity. There is a massive difference between running shoes and training shoes, and it is essential to understand this distinction.

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What are training shoes designed for?

Workout shoes can be thought of as all-purpose gym and fitness shoes. They are suitable for exercise sessions, HIIT or plyometrics, on elliptical machines and specific weight training. These are versatile shoes you can rely on.

As the name suggests, running shoes are designed specifically for running, whether on sidewalks, tracks, trails or treadmills. The entire way these shoes are designed is dedicated to advancing and supporting your movement as you run.

You can sometimes use running shoes for training in a gym, but they perform best when they provide the grip, stability, and comfort you need for running.

Differences in the design of running and training shoes

design of running


  • Running shoes: Lots of cushioning that can be concentrated in the heel or distributed relatively evenly throughout the shoe
  • Training shoes: much less cushioning than a running shoe and generally distributed over the entire sole


  • Running shoes: usually with a higher heel drop – this means the shoe is built on a curved last, so the toe doesn’t hit the ground
  • Training shoes: usually with a lower heel and flatter sole – meaning more of the sole is in contact with the ground


  • Running shoes: among the lightest shoes that exist, and the possibility of extra light foam in the soles
  • Training shoes: usually a little heavier than running shoes as they need to be more durable to withstand various lateral movements

The underside of the soles

  • Running shoes: the sole, or the part that “grips the ground” of the shoes, is designed to facilitate unidirectional movement
  • Training shoes: the outsole is designed to support multi-directional movement
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  • Running shoes: Except for stability shoes, most support is under the heel, with softer uppers.
  • Training shoes: support in the sole as well as in the outer part of the shoe to help with multidirectional movements.

Can training shoes be used for running?


Just as you’re not going to use golf shoes for playing basketball, it’s generally recommended to wear running shoes for running and brooks cross training shoes and working out at the gym. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can put you at greater risk of injury or discomfort.

For example, if you wear running shoes in an aerobics session with a lot of lateral movement, you may find that a high, softer heel means your ankles are unsupported, increasing the risk of injury. Alternatively, if you lift weights, the uneven sole of a running shoe could make you feel unstable.

Likewise, running a marathon in training shoes will likely lead to much pain. Your heels won’t get enough support for repetitive hitting the ground, which could lead to nasty injuries, such as plantar fasciitis. You may also find that the soles of training shoes wear out much faster if you wear them for long-running sessions on the road.

That being said, only some have the budget for different shoes for every activity, so it’s essential to consider how you plan to use your shoes primarily. Running shoes are a well-considered choice if you mostly run on the road with an occasional gym session. Training shoes are the most sensible solution if you go to the gym three days a week and only run a little once a week.

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Of course, if you plan on doing a lot of gyms and running workouts simultaneously, it would be reasonable to buy two pairs of shoes, not least because they will only wear out slowly.